Michigan-Based Chrysler’s Nuclear Tank Featured in Episode of Disney’s Loki
The War Machine was humming in the 1940s and 50s in America. During WWII, every little resource we had went toward the war effort, including the auto industry's Big 3 - Ford, GM, and Chrysler in Detroit - who donated their parts, labor, and facilities to producing war-time equipment.
But once World War II was over, some of these companies wanted to capitalize on the need for more, and new equipment for war. Chrysler was one of those companies, while they were still in Detroit, and developed their own tank in the 1950s. Sadly, the project was eventually scrapped, BUT, it did manage to live on, and is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Chrysler TV-8 was going to revolutionize the tank in wars. The design was proposed in 1955 as the Astron "X-Weapon" project - an unconventional tank design that would also be amphibious.
Chrysler classified it as a mid-size, 4-person tank that stored everything - crew, weapons, engine, and supplies - in a sleek, pod-shaped turret, that would be mounted on a typical tank-track chassis. That chassis was then driven by two electric motors.
It was a revolutionary design, where the Chrysler V-8 engine, which was in the turret with the crew, was separate from the drive train. It was essentially just a generator that powered those electric motors, which in turn made the tank move.
As for the gun turret, it was a fixed barrel. So the only way to aim was to turn the turret, or lift or lower the ENTIRE turret with hydraulics
The tank was also meant to be amphibious, and was equipped with a water jet engine for propulsion in the water. But this would prove to be one of many downfalls of the design.
Shortfalls That Ended the Chrysler TV-8 Tank
In order to be watertight, it also had to be airtight in the turret pod. It also needed to withstand an assault in the new era of potential nuclear war, and withstand the blast of an atomic bomb.
They wouldn't be able to have any viewports on the turret, and all outside visuals would be handled through closed-circuit television cameras. This would also shield their eyes from any potential nuclear blast.
And finally, the nail in the coffin that most likely fully killed this project... the engine. Initially, it was set to be the Chrysler V-8, but the intent was to retrofit it, and replace it with a compact nuclear reactor and generator.
And since the motor had to stay in the same compartment with the crew, literally feet behind them and a giant gun.. that just wouldn't do, and the plans were scrapped.
Chrysler TV-8 In the Marvel Cinematic Universe
But interestingly enough, this wasn't the last time we would ever see the tank. It made its way into pop culture, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year. During Episode 5 of Season 1 of the Loki Series on Disney+, while exploring the void, you can see an emaciated Chrysler TV-8 Tank in and amongst the clutter.
(You can see it in the video posted below from New Rock Stars on Youtube at the 15:00 mark.)
It's too bad this tank didn't get made, because it looks like something straight out of a 1050s Sci-Fi movie, and in my opinion, looks WAY cooler than the tanks we use today. Sorry U.S. Military, but, you lack style and finesse.
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Gallery Credit: Getty Images